“What’s next?”

The question ENID has been hearing from a lot of girls recently. And essentially what it means is, “Help! What do I want to be when I grow up?” OR “I’m at Uni and have no idea what I am going to do when I finish?” OR “SOS I’m in a career and think it’s time for a change!”

So to all you girls out there who are trying to figure out what’s next, please remember you are not alone. This is a common theme of questions we receive and something everyone will ponder and question in their lives. Figuring it out doesn’t have to involve meltdown, call mum, meltdown, call mum, big meltdown (been there done that).

Here are ENIDs 5 top tips on figuring out what’s next. And if you’re too tired to read, check out ENID telling you instead (note: you will probably have more fun watching because the girls are super fun!):

  1. Is there one thing on your mind that you can’t stop thinking about it?

Maybe it’s going traveling or working in a social enterprise? Whatever it is, if it’s on your mind and you just can’t get rid of it, do it. Because I’m telling you, that little voice at the back of your mind isn’t going anywhere and if you give it a go and it doesn’t work out then that’s fine too; you won’t regret giving it a shot!

  1. Keep your options open!

Work hard in whatever you are currently doing; whether that’s your current job, degree or extracurricular endeavour. By doing the best you can, you are giving yourself the best opportunity for whatever might come your way. So when your knee deep in an excel spreadsheet or 12 hours in the library, keep working hard because that will help you achieve whatever is next.

  1. Figure out where you want to be in 1, 2 or 5 years!

Some people have a very clear idea of where they see themselves. Maybe it’s working overseas or being in senior management at a stable firm? If you have a clear 1, 2 or 5 year plan, work backwards. Figure out what steps you’ll need to achieve to get to that place. In doing so, you might just figure out what your first step is on the way to your definition of success!

  1. Do your research.

While opportunities sometimes do just ‘land in your lap,’ you can discover what you really really want to do with a little bit of research. Try and make research a little bit enjoyable and even a little exciting! Give yourself an entire Sunday afternoon; play some music and maybe even light a scented candle (how can research not be fun / relaxing / enjoyable with a scented candle in the background?!). Explore all the girls on ENID and all the wonderful things they’ve done – you might just discover something new and totally unexpected!

  1. Ask friends, family (really, anyone that will listen).

Ask them what they think you might like and what they think you’re good at. People love to help. And people love to give advice. Don’t feel like you’re a burden by asking questions; utilise those that care about you and really think about their answers.

  1. Get moving and take a first step!

Simply think of it like changing lanes when you’re driving: changing lanes (i.e., careers) is much easier when you’re moving (i.e., you’ve taken a first opportunity / given a job or role a go). Wherever you start, you can always change and it’s much easier to change once you’re moving. You’ll learn what you do and don’t like and you’ll gain a whole lot of experience in the process!     

P.s if you’re a West Wing fan, “what’s next?” will have a special place in your heart.